Fisherman & Sons

by Laurent Gilissen from Faculty of Architecture and Arts of Hasselt University, Belgium
Tutored by: Peggy Winkels

Author comments:

The somewhat enclosed fishermen's village of Kunduchi,Tanzania, is struggling to survive due to unfair competition from Europe and Asia. Their international fishery corporations are the cause of overfishing along the coastline of Tanzania.

In order to provide the inhabitants of the fishermen's village with a more secure income, aquaculture will be introduced to the site.

The reef island, located just outside the fishermen's village, is a beautiful piece of nature. It has wildlife, sea, sand, mangroves and even a small lagoon. It's the perfect location to combine nature reserve and aquaculture.

Wave breakers that partially surround the island can easily be transformed to create fish pens in which fish farming can take place. The more shallow parts can be used for seaweed farming so that they provide seaweed that can be used as fish food. By farming herbivore fish species and farming the correct type of seaweed a considerable amount of money can be saved on fish food.

The most beautiful aspect of introducing aquaculture to the island is that it will attract different new animal species, thus reinvigorating the natural life of the reserve. The created nature reserve will invite tourists to experience local nature and wildlife and learn about their native fishing culture and aquaculture. The nature reserve serves as an introduction to the Saadani National Park located to the North. The Saadani National Park can be reached by a 2-3 hours boat trip departing from the nature reserve's boat dock.

Tutor comments:

Fisherman and sons, one of the 18 projects of our 'studio Tanzania' start-up year, not only intrigued the jury but also, and even more important, the Tanzanian guest professors.

Confronted with the challenges and social contrasts of the exploding city of Dar es Salaam, with the results of global warming, climate change and pollution, with the ruthlessness of our colonising economy, this project draws a positive future for the local community of Kunduchi’s fishermen.

Fisherman and sons is interesting because of the coherence of its multiple layers. There is…

the precise integration of the architectural interventions, within the existing and new landscape… creating awareness and respect for our natural surroundings

the search for a balance between local building materials and conventional building methods

the attention for the economic return and impact of this project, resulting in intensive research and thorough calculation

the respect for the local community and its limited funds, in the phasability of the project

the innovative concept of creating (tourist) awareness for contemporary and responsible economy, combined with a responsible attitude towards nature

All the above aspects and the students personal involvement as an architect for a changing world, make this project worth mentioning!

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